If I wrote a poem using “The twelve days of Christmas” as a guide, is that illegal?

Asked on November 12, 2011 under Business Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, this should be legal. "Twelve Days of Christmas" has long been in the public domain. Go back and make sure you use one of the original versions as you guide, and it's amply old enough that you may use it. If you used some recent re-writing or editing of it, you could be violating the copyright of whomever created that new versions; but older versions are public doman. Go back to one that's at least 100 years old and you you will be safe.

 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, this should be legal. "Twelve Days of Christmas" has long been in the public domain. Go back and make sure you use one of the original versions as you guide, and it's amply old enough that you may use it. If you used some recent re-writing or editing of it, you could be violating the copyright of whomever created that new versions; but older versions are public doman. Go back to one that's at least 100 years old and you you will be safe.

 


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